News & Events

New state-of-the-art Distillery, Craft Breweryand Visitor Centre to open in Drogheda in 2016

Whiskey and Gin artisan distillery will house the new Boyne Brewhouse craft brewery and bring over 80 new jobs to the local area

Project announced by Minister Bruton, supported by Dept of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton today (Wednesday) announced that the Boann Distillery and Visitor Centre, a state-of -the-art distillery soon to open in the heart of the Boyne Valley, will create over 80 new jobs as part of its ambitious plans to become one of Ireland’s leading independent distillery and craft brewery. The project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

Opening in 2016, the stunning €20m Drogheda based facility will include a whiskey distillery , Boyne Brewhouse craft brewery and taproom , an architecturally designed visitor centre which will host distillery and brewery tours, a 120 seater restaurant, whiskey bar, private event space, and a gift shop.

Welcoming the announcement Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said:“Ireland’s food and drink industry offers massive potential for regional employment, which is a major focus of the Government’s 2015 Action Plan for Jobs.  Today’s announcement of 80 new jobs in Drogheda, as part of a €20million investment supported by my Department through Enterprise Ireland, is a great boost for the town and the wider North-East region. Investments by Irish businesses have a massive knock-on impact on the local economy, through construction, supply and service businesses. Boann Distillery is a great example of the type of company we are trying to support – an Irish company, operating at the cutting edge of its sector, focussed on selling its goods around the world, and creating jobs in a regional town. I warmly congratulate Pat and all his team and wish them every success for the future”.

With plans to produce craft whiskey, gin and an innovative range of craft beers for the domestic and export market, craft beer production is nearing commencement in the 50,000sq ft building located in the lush Boyne Valley countryside.

Minister for Business and Employment and local TD Ged Nash said, “This is really fantastic news for Drogheda and the wider Boyne Valley. I want to welcome the Boann Distillery to the area and in particular welcome home Pat Cooney, a Drogheda native, who has made his name in the drinks industry.”

“The 80 new jobs in the distillery, brewery and the visitor centre will be a really welcome boost to Drogheda, but will also add huge value to the area as a tourist destination. I am delighted that my Department, through Enterprise Ireland, is supporting the new company.”

The Boann whiskey distillery will create a range of Irish single malt,pot still and blended whiskies from technologically advancednano-copper pot stills. A small batch premium gin will also be produced in a custom made 500Ltr Bennett Still.

The internationally renowned master distiller, John McDougall , is consultant Distiller to the project and will be working closely with Áine O’ Hora , Head Distiller and Brewer. Their shared passion and wealthof knowledge means every detail of the Boann Distillery has been meticulously considered.

Áine, a Galway native, honed her craft for the past seven years as Brewer with Matilda Bay (CUB) Australia’s most awarded craft brewery. Her first beer for the Boyne Brewhouse, Born in a Day Australian Pale Ale, is a nod to her Australian Chapter.

With a 3 vessel 35HL Kasper Schulz brewhouse at its heart and using traditional brewing methods with only the finest raw materials and the purest spring water from the Boyne Valley, the Boyne Brewhouse debut range of craft beer consists of:

Born in a Day Australian Pale Ale, 4.8%

Long ArmDortmunder Export, 4.8%

Pagan’s Pillar Sparking Copper Ale, 4.8%

The core Boyne Brewhouse craft beer range will be available in bottle, can and draught and will follow up with a range of speciality food beers and seasonals. With state of the art bottling, canning and kegging lines being installed at the production facility, some innovative packaging formats will also be introduced.

The Boann Distillery and Boyne Brewhouse are the realisation of a long held ambition of the Cooney family who have a long tradition in the Irish drinks industry. Pat Cooney built the Gleeson Group to be a major player in the Irish manufacturing and wholesale drinks business over the last 40 years with €300 million turnover and employment of 750 people. Part of this business was sold in 2012 to C&C but a cream liqueur facility and cidery were retained by the Cooney family. The addition of whiskey, white spirits and craft beers will complete a Four Pillar business of the Irish Drinks Industry with a strong focus on export markets as well as the domestic scene.

Pat is a native of Drogheda and having left in 1965 to pursue a professional career in accountancy and later in business, this is something of a home coming for him with the establishment of a new industry in his home town.

Pat, his wife Marie and four of their children are all actively involved in running the business.

Speaking at the launch, Pat Cooney, CEO of the Boann Distillery and Visitor Centre, said:“I’ve been in the drinks industry for the past 40 years and it has been a nagging ambition to establish a Distillery of my own. To be able to realise this ambition, with the encouragement and participation of my wife and family, is a great bonus and to be able to establish this project in this super building in my home town is a multiple bonus.

To add to the attraction of the location, we are also putting in a Craft Brewery. Marrying these two Pillars of the Industry with Cream Liqueur and Cider allows us to tick all the boxes of the drinks industry. The business will have a strong export focus without neglecting the domestic market.

I am excited for the future and pleased that we can make a contribution to the local economy both from an employment and visitor attraction perspective. The location in the Boyne Valley is a very valuable asset and we hope to play our part in promoting the tourist potential for this major attraction and Irelands East Coast.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland commented: “Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with the Boann Distillery in progressing its expansion and investment plans. This is an ambitious and highly innovative company, with great potential to scale and grow rapidly in international markets from its base in Drogheda. Enterprise Ireland looks forward to continuing to work with Boann as they implement their plans, creating and sustaining jobs in Ireland”.

Drogheda was once home to eighteen local distilleries, which slowly declined to just one by 1822. This last distillery was owned by James Woolsey, later taken over by the Preston Brothers, it quickly grew to become one of Ireland’s principal Irish whiskey producers. However taxes, civil war and Prohibition took their toll and in 1968 the distillery closed and the last barrels of whiskey left Drogheda— a rich piece of local heritage was lost forever.

Today a revival has begun and Irish whiskey is now quickly becoming the fastest growing spirit in the world. In late 2015, spirit will flow from the Boann Distillery copper pot stills, the first to flow in Drogheda in nearly 50 years.

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Notes to Editor

Boann Distillery and Boyne Brewhouse are part of the Na Cuana Group which also includes RA Merrys Ltd which produces Irish Cream Liquers and Adams Cider Company.